Though not life-threatening, the pain caused by trigeminal neuralgia is severe, significantly affecting how you live your life. The team at the Brain and Spine Center of South Florida in Delray Beach and Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, specializes in diagnosing and treating neurological conditions that involve the brain and spine, like trigeminal neuralgia. The team offers both conservative and surgical care for this debilitating pain condition. To learn more about your trigeminal neuralgia treatment options, call or schedule a consultation online today.
Trigeminal neuralgia is a chronic pain condition that involves the trigeminal nerve, also called the 5th cranial nerve.
Each side of your face has its own trigeminal nerve, and each nerve has three branches: ophthalmic nerve, maxillary nerve, and mandibular nerve. Your trigeminal nerve transmits messages between your brain, face, eyes, and mouth.
People with trigeminal neuralgia experience intense, electric shock-like pain on one side of the face. The pain may involve any one of the three nerve branches but most often affects the maxillary and mandibular nerves.
During the early stages, you may have infrequent episodes of pain that last a few seconds. However, trigeminal neuralgia is a progressive condition, and over time the pain episodes occur more often and last longer.
Trigeminal neuralgia has many possible causes. However, it most often develops from compression of the nerve by a blood vessel or tumor at the base of the brain. You can also develop the pain condition from an aneurysm or stroke.
Sometimes the underlying cause is unclear, making it hard to get a definitive diagnosis.
The team at the Brain and Spine Center of South Florida specializes in diagnosing and treating neurological conditions like trigeminal neuralgia.
The Brain and Spine Center of South Florida is a state-of-the-art neurosurgery practice equipped with the latest diagnostic and treatment tools. During your evaluation, your provider reviews your symptoms and medical history and performs a physical and neurological exam.
The team may also order an MRI of your head to rule out other conditions that might explain your symptoms.
The Brain and Spine Center of South Florida provides all the care you need to manage your trigeminal neuralgia. Treatment may include:
Anti-seizure medications are the most effective for relieving trigeminal neuralgia pain. The team may also try tricyclic antidepressants to reduce your discomfort.
When medications no longer provide pain relief, the team atthe Brain and Spine Center of South Florida may recommend surgical interventions such as cranial stereotactic radiosurgery.
During this procedure, the team uses computer imaging and highly focused beams of radiation targeted at the trigeminal nerve as it exits the brain. The radiation damages the nerve, preventing it from sending the pain signals to your brain.
To learn more about trigeminal neuralgia and your treatment options, call the Brain and Spine Center of South Florida or schedule an appointment online today.